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Jun 5, 2007 11:22 PM

Anyone ever made a mini cookbook?

I need to stay up late more often. These ideas just come to me. Has anyone ever made or received a mini homemade cookbook from a friend?

Let's say I get a printing company (shutterfly or something similar) to print up 10 or 12 page booklets for my wedding as favors for the guests, and set one book on each place setting. When the guests sit down and open the book, they will see:

Page 1: a few words of thanks for being there to celebrate
Page 2 (facing page): program of the evening's events (that's like three lines: eat, watch ceremony, clap, eat, dance, eat more, eat some more, interspersed by drinking).

Page 3: Her favorite cocktail
Page 4: His favorite cocktail

Page 5: Her favorite appetizer
Page 6: His favorite appetizer

Page 7: Her favorite entree
Page 8: His favorite entree

Page 9: Her favorite dessert
Page 10: His favorite dessert

Pages 11-12: our favorite all-day, very involved, long project to cook together

Back page: something heartfelt about how we both love our family, friends and our food.

The book would be interspersed with close up shots of some of our favorite dishes, which friends will recognize from parties, and maybe a shot or two of the two of us goofing off in the kitchen. I would also choose recipes that reflect how the two recipes in each section might be very different from each other they still complement each other (cheesiness alert: just like we do!).

My sister just gave me the idea that some dishes can be things that are being served at the wedding, and the drinks could be our signature drinks if we decide to have them.

Do you think people would enjoy this? Really think hard and be honest about whether a crowd of mostly people who don't care as much as we do about food would find this gift desireable. Alternatives are: set of ceramic measuring spoons, silver pear shaped salt and pepper shakers (pears are good luck), good chocolates, or a candy buffet. I'm also trying to keep things under $3 a piece.


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  1. I have made a mini-cookbook before. I Kinko-copied it. The cookbook ended up being cute, but I don't know if people kept their copy or threw it away.

    I like the silver pear-shaped salt and pepper shaker idea.

    A friend recently gave another friend an apron with a cute "recipe for love" attached. It said something like, "One cup of caring, one cup of respect.... a dash of orange zest. Mix and enjoy." It was a little longer than that, but it was very cute.

    1 Reply
    1. re: katkoupai

      That apron idea is too cute for words. If only I knew how to embroider as well--I just barely figured out how to sew! It could easily be personalized so the dashes of this and that are inside jokes too.

    2. I LOVE THE IDEA!!! I would keep this and hopefully use it!!! It is very personal and I think a wedding favor should be it is more memorable!!! Most memorable wedding favor to date for me is a simple box filled with chocolate covered espresso beans and a little note of how the couple met at a coffee shop!!! I ate the beans but remember how cute it was!!

      1. "A printing company" ... nah, you're talking money.

        You can do this with simple desktop-publishing software, maybe even just with a word processor - I Googled "making a booklet" "desktop publishing" and came up with this suggestion online:

        Use your "scrapbooking" skills to decorate, perhaps, or just let your imagination fly - or enlist a skilled friend to advise (not to do it FOR you, right?


        I think people would really love this - it's sweet, creative, and very personal - touching, really. Great idea!

        1 Reply
        1. re: wayne keyser

          You could design it on your computer - though I find Word and 'simple desktop-publishing software' like trying to thread a needle wearing boxing gloves in comparison to Adobe InDesign - and print the pages out back and front and use some kind of spiral binding. www.istockphoto has loads of vector images that are inexpensive to download.

        2. I posted on the Home Cooking board but have the feeling it'll get deleted so I'll repeat it here. If you want to do the work, an accordion book would be really inexpensive. On one side of the book, you could do all the favorite "his", the other side "hers". You can print the recipes off your computer on nice paper and cut and paste into the book. A really cool effect for some photographs would be to photocopy b/w onto vellum (the cheap stuff you get from scrapbooks, not the real stuff).

          You know what would be fun for a minicookbook? Use a CD cover (you can buy a lot of them and it's fairly cheap). Design a cover for it. Have the recipes printed in that square shape which you can do yourself (maybe "his" on one side, "hers" on the other). Laminated would be great but might cost more than you'd want to spend. Tuck the recipes into the CD case. When you open the CD case all the way, it's like a stand to hold the recipe upright when you're using it. Like this:

          2 Replies
          1. re: chowser

            I have made mini cookbooks for a few friends as extra gifts at Christmas. Although I found at a Dollar store little photo books with 4 x 6 size-just slipped out their covers and made my own off computer. Did recipe cards for 4 x 6 size-but could easily add in photos also in the slots. The "brag" book with all clear sleeves work great! Have also done easel style photo books that stand up to put in recipes-which are are very handy to use. (Found the 4 x 6 size on internet) Hope this helps-sorta an easy -low cost way---

            1. re: dklipscomb

              Walmart also has little "brag" book photo album sizes that are inexpensive. I've made cookbooks and souvenier books for gifts with them.

          2. What an unbelievably cool idea! I think the booklet would be enjoyed by cooks and non-cooks alike. Anybody can give out salt and pepper shakers, but a minicookbood is creative and personal. Love the idea of including pictures of the two of you goofing off in the kitchen. Expect many imitations! I am also very impressed with all of the great advice on how to manufacture the booklet. Talented group!

            1 Reply
            1. re: chefbeth

              The cd case idea is BRILLIANT! You could print out on a light card stock, there's so much cool stuff out there.